Fantasy Canyon

Quick Facts

Fantasy Canyon


(435) 781-4400

Map Directions

Things To Do


Fantasy Canyon is an area composed of unique erosional features located about 27 miles south of Vernal, in northeastern Utah. Even though the area is only about 10 acres in size, it contains some of the most unique geologic features in the world. The site was officially documented by early explorer and paleontologist Earl Douglass, who recorded the area by other names such as "The Devil's Playground" and "Hades Pit." He published photographs of this area in a 1909 publication called "The Columbian Magazine."

Map of Fantasy Canyon

Latitude, Longitude: 40.055521, -109.394849



  • Bicycling

    Mountain biking is available in the area.

  • Camping

    Camping at near by Book Cliffs, Browns Park, Jarvie Ranch, Green River, and Pelican Lake.

  • Fishing

    Fishing in near by Green River, Pelican Lake, and White River.

  • Historic Sites

    Interpretive programs are available on occasion.

    Indian Legend: Images of Fantasy Canyon have inspired the following Indian Legend - Written by George E. Stewart over an interview with Muse Harris, Indian Chief (know to the Indians as Chief Red Moose)... "ONE DAY, the story goes, the evil creatures of the nether regions, tired of living in the dark and dank, decided to dig up to the surface and take over everything above and below the earth. They dug and the ground trembled and rumbled in their work.

    Two coyotes heard the rumble, and curious, as all coyotes are, couldn't resist the urge to investigate. The pair discovered the plot of the creatures from down under and in a trice howled the alarm to all their fellow mortals round-about.

    A great council was held to decide what to do; it would take more than mortal power to stop the invasion of these supernatural beings, this they understood. Finally, they determined to send for the greatest medicine man they knew.

    TWO EAGLES flew with the summons, and on the very first day, they found the great one in his mountain fastness.

    The wild horses set up a relay of the fleetest stallions on earth; they bore the mighty one with the speed of the wind over mountains, rivers, valleys and plains. And it was none too soon, for as he came up White River the Sachem could see the red light in the sky where the underworld denizens had broken through.

    Without sleep or rest or food the Medicine Chief went to work. First, he called on the Wind of the West and a great hurricane blew, carrying dust, dirt, rocks and trees to fill in the awful hole. But all this went for naught, it fell through to be burned in first down below.

    Then the Rain God was asked for help and he sent water in clouds and torrents, but it vanished away in steam and mist, while the Devil Chief laughed loud and long and his minions screamed with glee.

    THE SACHEM called to the God of the North, "Help us, help us," he chanted and drummed, "Oh, Great Lord of Ice and Snow."

    Help came as swift as an arrow; intense, deep, bitter cold. The North God caught the denizens of the deep as they gathered to spread over the world. In the wink of an eye he turned them all to ice. The Devil Chief, the Great Mother Witch, the magician and all the rest stand there just as they stood at the instant the cold struck long ago.

    When the warmth came back, again the West Wind blew and as the ice melted, the dust took its place and now the monsters stand in the pit they dug all of them turned to stone. It is a warning to the evil ones down in hell to leave the good green earth alone." (Salt Lake Tribune July 16, 1972)

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is permitted.

  • Hunting

    Contact park for hunting rules and regulations.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Off-highway vehicles are permitted.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic sites are available for visitors.



25 miles southeast of Vernal south on UT 45 & south on an oil company service road. Follow the signs to the area.

Phone Numbers


(435) 781-4400